Community projects awarded grants to tackle climate change

June 15, 2024 BY

L-R: Mayor Liz Pattison, Common Ground Project's food hub coordinator Amy Tacey and Lorne P-12 College's Michael Stone. Photos: SUPPLIED

TWO community-led climate action initiatives have been awarded grants following the Surf Coast Shire’s Pitch Fest.

Now in its third year, the event gives local projects that strive to contribute to both a thriving environment and community, the opportunity to present their initiatives to the community and gain some much-needed funding.

This year, representatives from a total of three shortlisted projects pitched their initiatives at the Pitch Fest celebration, held on World Environment Day (Wednesday, June 5), sharing how the initiative would help to address climate change in the region.

Attendees were then invited to vote for their favourite project, with two initiatives each successfully receiving funding of $10,000 under the council’s Climate Emergency Grants program.

Mayor Liz Pattison said the Pitch Fest celebration was an “inspiring” event.

“It is wonderful to be part of a community that is passionate about climate action. It fills me with hope for the future,” she said.

“We know that both council and community play key roles in climate action, separately and together, and council is proud to support and help empower community-led initiatives through this grant program.”

L-R: Mayor Liz Pattison with The Brainary’s Hugh Kingsley and Madison Old.


The first initiative successful in gaining funding through the grant program was ‘School for Climate: Regeneration and Climate Action in the Garden & Farm’, a collaboration between Common Ground Project and Lorne P-12 College.

The project will allow Lorne P-12’s entire student community to attend and engage with a climate and regeneration program to be held at Common Ground Project in Freshwater Creek.

The program will provide students with a tangible example of sustainable gardening, farming and food systems and provide inspiration, mentorship and support for the sustainable garden planned for the school as part of the initiative.

The Brainery and Geelong Regional Library Corporation’s project ‘Arckit Sustainability Studio’ was also awarded funding.

The hands-on educational experience aims to teach participants the essentials for promoting sustainable living and addressing climate change.

The program will provide workshops for both primary and secondary school students, as well as adults, and use an architectural model building kit to encourage participants to construct environmentally safe buildings, parks and communities and equip them with the skills required to reduce their carbon footprint and make sustainable changes.

The council’s Climate Emergency Grants program has previously provided funding to Surfers for Climate and Parents for Climate for the delivery of the inaugural One Planet Festival, held in March, along with the installation of solar panels at the Aireys Inlet community garden and an e-cargo bike trial at Anglesea Primary School.


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